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By Witchipedia, Deities

Who is Odin: All-Father of the Norse Pantheon

Updated on:

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Written by: Dawn Black (Witchipedia)

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Reviewed by: Tina Caro

Odin is the one-eyed All-Father of the Norse pantheon. His wife is Frigg, the Goddess of Wisdom. Odin carries out war and gives strength to his allies.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Odin, known as the All-Father, is a central deity in Norse mythology and holds the highest position in the Norse pantheon as the ruler of Asgard.

He is characterized by his profound wisdom, mastery of magic, and associations with various aspects of life, including war, poetry, and death.

A famous myth depicts Odin sacrificing his eye at the Well of Mímir to attain cosmic knowledge.

He is also recognized for his role as a wanderer, shape-shifter, and the owner of two ravens, Huginn and Muninn, who bring him information.

Odin’s enduring influence on Norse culture, literature, and art cements his status as a revered and multifaceted figure in Norse mythology.

Folklore

Odin rules the Aesir, who constantly battle frost giants that would cast the world into eternal darkness and Winter.

In the beginning, the frost giants ruled all of the lands from their plane known as Ginnungagap. Odin slew the frost giant Ymir and made the earth from his corpse. Odin has an eight-legged horse named Sleipnir. His two ravens are named Hunin and Munin. The birds fly in every direction, gathering news to whisper into the All-Father’s ears.

Odin sacrificed one of his eyes at Mimir’s Well beneath the World Tree Yggdrasil. From this same tree, Odin hung for nine days and nine nights, pierced by his own ash spear in order to gain knowledge about all of the nine worlds.

Namely, and from top to bottom, the worlds are Asgard, Alfheim, five on the same level Midgard, Jotunheim, Muspelheimr, Vanaheim, and Niflheim. Below that Svartalfheim and Helheim.

In modern popular fiction, Odin is portrayed as something of a villain. He has featured repeatedly in books by author Neil Gaiman as a sort of jolly grifter who is a worse trickster than Loki.

In Marvel Comics Odin is portrayed as a destructive character, often undoing what his heroic son Thor attempts to do.

odin by magickal spot
Copyright: Tina Caro

Ways to Honor Odin

If you feel drawn to this Norse god and would like to invite and welcome his energy into your life, there are lots of ways to do so. Try the ideas below to honor Odin and express thanks for his blessings.

Enjoy a Feast

A wonderfully enjoyable way to revere Odin is to have a feast in his honor! Create a meal to share with friends and loved ones that is similar to one that would have been consumed by our Norse forefathers.

Such a feast would have traditionally included pickled herring and smoked salmon on rye bread, and plenty of asparagus, garlic, and leeks. And, if you wish to include them, a bottle or two of mead or red wine.

Set Up an Altar

Create an altar dedicated to Odin to connect with this important god. Colors to incorporate into your altar are those that correspond to Odin: black, gray, and navy blue. Parsley, elm leaves, myrrh, and burn ash leaves are great to include, too.

altar for odin by magickal spot
Copyright: Tina Caro

Add to your altar small statues, images, or other representations of spears, wolves, and ravens, all of which are associated with Odin.

The symbol of the volknut (made up of three interlocking triangles) is also closely linked with this god, so add a drawing of this symbol, or jewelry containing it, to your altar, too.

Give the Gift of Time

To honor Odin, consider giving the gift of your time to an organization that needs volunteers.

Whatever charity or group you choose will revere Odin if you set the clear intention for it to do so, although veterans’ charities and animal rescue and care organizations may be the most appropriate choices for this particular god.

Odin and the Number Nine

Nine is a sacred number to Odin. As a sacrifice, the god hung himself from Yggdrasil (a sacred tree in Norse cosmology also known as the world tree) for nine days and nine nights. By the end of this time, Odin was starved and dehydrated but had earned the runes.

The volknut’s three triangles, each with three sides, represent the god’s sacred number, and those who wish to honor Odin often choose to incorporate the number nine into their practice.

For example, you may wish to reflect Odin’s sacrifice by giving up candy or alcohol for nine days and nights or leaving an offering for Odin on the ninth day of each month.

Recommended Reading

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American Gods
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The Divine Thunderbolt: Missile of the Gods
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About Morningbird (Witchipedia's Founder)

I am a homesteading hearth witch who grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and has lived among the Great Lakes for the past 20 years. Together with my musical husband and youngest child, I steward a one-acre mini homestead with herb, vegetable and flower gardens, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits, and areas reserved for native plants and wildlife. 

I have three children; two are grown, and I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years.

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